Dot Commentary: Who has the best football uniforms in the Big Ten?
We’ve talked a lot of Xs and Os during these Dot Commentary debates through the course of the season, but this week instead of discussing Jimmys and Joes, Tom Dienhart and Alex Roux of BTN.com will banter over a category of clothes–football uniforms.
Some people take uniform debates ultra-seriously, and others couldn’t care less. Neither party is really wrong on this topic, since it’s a matter of personal preference. But that won’t stop the disagreements from flowing on the internet over the following question:
Which Big Ten team has the best uniforms?
Dienhart: Penn State
The best uniform in the Big Ten? That’s easy, it’s Penn State.
Some call the Nittany Lions’ togs bland, boring, basic. Blah, blah, blah. Not me. I think the simplicity of the design and color scheme is what makes the Penn State unis the sweetest in the Big Ten.
The uniforms haven’t changed since the Eisenhower administration, throw-back duds from a throw-back era that look as good on a black-and-white TV in Dubuque as they do on a $3,000 plasma in SoHo. No doubt, the uniforms hearken to an Ozzie and Harriet period when men carried brief cases and women vacuumed while wearing a dress and pearl necklace.
The look begins with an oh-so-sweet white helmet, an uncluttered thing-of-beauty that epitomizes the bromide: less is more. Flashy decals? Nope. Chrome. Ha. Just give me all white with one beautiful blue stripe down the middle.
When it comes to uniform combinations, I like the road whites. White jersey, white pants, white helmet and black shoes. The numbers? Blue. It’s a clean, crisp look and personifies substance over style. Clothes don’t define the man. His actions do. And Penn State’s get-up for Saturday afternoons is all-business and exemplifies a lunch-pail mentality that too often is lacking in today’s America.
So, embrace the understated beauty of the Nittany Lions’ pristine uniforms. When everyone else is trying to get attention with garish designs, Penn State stands out for being sublime and simple when it comes to getting dressed on game day.
Now, get off my lawn!
Roux: Michigan State
I’ve got to give it to Tom; I didn’t even know “togs” was a term until I saw it in this column. That historic vocab suits Traditional Tommy and his affinity for the Penn State threads, but many of us millenials prefer a more current look.
All jokes aside, I love Tom and respect his uniform pick–Penn State has a solid Saturday getup. But this Dot Commentary topic is completely subjective, and I’ve grown up in the era where alternate uniforms are Oregon-ized. Thankfully, I think the pendulum has swung back from the most extreme examples of uniform contortion and found a happy medium where historic looks can be refined into sleek, modernized versions. And I think that’s exactly what Michigan State has mastered.
I know, it seems like Michigan State is never brought up as the best or the worst look in college football, but that’s why they’ve reached the top of my personal preference list. They’ve tweaked their uniforms over the years, but always seem to make them better without altering tradition. The Spartans have stuck with the bold Green and White uniforms that have always defined the program, and their alternate gold is used modestly and rarely enough to not spoil the look. And the most underrated part? The helmets.
Michigan State’s helmets are what the kids call “on fleek,” and trust me, that’s a good thing. Shiny, plastic-looking domes are so two-thousand-and-late, and Michigan State consistently rocks a matte version that makes the Spartan logo pop in both Green and White versions. If your team needs new helmets, do your eyeballs a favor and model them after the boys in East Lansing.
I get wanting to stick with a historic look if your program is rooted deep in tradition. Likewise with trying bold new uniform rotations if you don’t have a consistent program identity to hearken back to. But thanks to some really solid Nike concepts and (I’m assuming) some wise on-campus input, the Spartans have managed to do both.